For the first time, potatoes have been planted with the help of a field robot in the Netherlands. It’s part of a research project that aims to find out whether potatoes can be cultivated more efficiently with less heavy machines.
The trial was carried out with the Agrointelli Robotti, an autonomous tool carrier that can independently perform various activities. For this purpose, the robot was coupled to a trailed four-row Miedema CP 42 planter.
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Bewegende beelden zeggen waarschijnlijk meer: pic.twitter.com/Z2YwTh27tR
— BramVeldhuisen (@BVeldhuisen) April 16, 2021
The Robotti was just able to pull the partially filled planter, which weighs approximately 2.4 tons when unfilled. Especially from a standstill, the robot had some difficulty getting the planter moving, experienced Bram Veldhuisen, the robot specialist at Wageningen University.
The Robotti field robot weighs approximately 2.8 tons and has two Kubota diesel engines. One 75 hp engine is for propulsion and the other 75 hp engine is for the PTO and external hydraulics. Robotti navigates using RTK GPS.
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The trial is part of the robotisation project of Wageningen University, Agrointelli and Dewulf. Part of the demonstration plot of the PotatoEurope fair has been reserved for this near the city of Lelystad. During PotatoEurope, the Robotti will also harvest the potatoes.
PotatoEurope is an international event exclusively dedicated to the entire potato chain and takes place every year in one of the trade fair’s four partner countries: Germany, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The organisation expects to welcome more than 275 exhibitors and approximately 16,000 visitors to the Netherlands on 1 and 2 September 2021.